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Tuesday, January 14, 2014
SERVING DIXON AND THE SURROUNDING AREA SINCE 1851
ILLINOIS POLITICS | MINIMUM WAGE
Democrats wary of wage hike On Quinn’s proposal: Jacobs says not now; Smiddy has no position yet BY DAVID GIULIANI firstname.lastname@example.org 800-798-4085, ext. 525
Gov. Pat Quinn wants to increase the minimum wage by $1.75 an hour, to $10, but two area Democratic state lawmakers are not ready to go along just yet. State Rep. Mike Smiddy, D-Hillsdale, was busy Monday and had a campaign aide respond when
a reporter called about the issue. The aide, Ben Head, said Smiddy didn’t have a position on the minimum wage increase yet and needs to do “a lot of State Rep. additional research.” Mike Smiddy Smiddy’s fellow Democrat, Sen. Mike Jacobs of East
Moline, said that on the whole, he favors the minimum wage going up, not down. “We should always be striving to make things better for people,” said Jacobs, State Sen. whose district includes Mike Jacobs Whiteside County. “As far as increasing it now, we should
Around the Midwest
be slow to that. We should allow the economy to recover. “We have to be realistic. You can’t make the minimum wage so high that employers can’t afford to pay it.” Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Dixon, said he supports maintaining the current minimum.
The minimum wage around the Midwest: Illinois $8.25 Ohio $7.85 Michigan $7.40 Missouri $7.35 Minnesota $7.25 Indiana $7.25 Iowa $7.25 Wisconsin $7.25
WAGE CONTINUED ON A2
SCHOOLS | SPECIAL EDUCATION
Reaching out to farmers
Sterling schools to make exit case District wants out of special ed co-op BY DAVID GIULIANI email@example.com 800-798-4085, ext. 525
Photo by Alex T. Paschalfirstname.lastname@example.org
Big ag issues outlined in first meeting of Kinzinger committee BY PAM EGGEMEIER email@example.com 800-798-4085, ext. 570
U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, says it’s important for legislators to know what they don’t know. That was one reason, he says, that he has been working for several months to put together an Agriculture Advisory Committee in his 16th Congressional District, which includes Lee, Ogle and Bureau counties. “I have family that has been
involved in farming, but I’m not a farmer,” he said. “I wanted to bring different kinds of farmers together, so they can tell me what’s U.S. Rep. Adam on their mind Kinzinger and educate me.” The committee will serve as a forum for Kinzinger to hear directly from his ag constituents about how policy issues are affecting them. Producers from all 14
counties in the 16th District have been chosen to serve as representatives for their neighboring farmers. It is hoped there soon will be 20 to 25 farmers on the panel. The committee met for the first time Dec. 19 in Ottawa. The launch of the committee would appear to be well-timed, considering the importance of many ag-related issues up for debate in Washington. Farmers still are waiting for a new farm bill, and opti-
mism is building that one will soon emerge. Earlier this week, leaders of the Senate and House agriculture committees said they were close to announcing a multi-year bill. A few loose ends remain on a proposal to cut $9 billion in food stamp funding, and some disagreement lingers about dairy price supports and a catfish inspection agency that has yet to evaluate a fish. FARMERS CONTINUED ON A7
Students return to school after flooding Top two floors of St. Mary’s School still can’t be used BY PAM EGGEMEIER firstname.lastname@example.org 800-798-4085, ext. 570
STERLING – Students returned to parts of St. Mary’s
TODAY’S EDITION: 24 PAGES 2 SECTIONS VOL. 163 ISSUE 179
School on Monday after flooding from a broken sprinkler system pipe had closed the school for 3 days. The pipe broke about noon last Tuesday, when students were already home because of the severe weather conditions. A secretary was the only person at the school when the pipe broke and sent water down a stairwell.
Although the kids were back in school Monday, their day was anything but normal. The school’s 180 students in grades prekindergarten through eighth grade were confined to the first floor and basement. The second and third floors are still off-limits for what could be a couple of weeks. “Floors two and three are
BUSINESS ......... A12 COMICS ...............B6 CROSSWORD....B11
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still being cleaned,” said Jeannie Ramos, the school’s office manager and bookkeeper. “The electrical has all been checked out, but the elevator repairman is still there.” All of the classes are being held on the first floor and in six previously unused classrooms in the lower level. RETURN CONTINUED ON A4
OBITUARIES ........ A4 OPINION .............. A6 SPORTS ...............B1
STERLING – A panel today will hear the Sterling school district’s request to leave a cooperative for special education services, which the district hopes will save money. The cooperative includes 10 other districts in Whiteside and Carroll counties – six of which voted against letting Sterling leave; the others supported the move. Tonight, the boards for the Whiteside and Carroll-Stephenson-Jo Daviess regional boards of education will meet to hear Sterling’s case. The boards may decide the issue at the end of the meeting. It is set for 6:30 p.m. at the Sterling High School library. The meeting will start with public comment, with each person getting up to 2 minutes to speak. After public comments, Sterling school officials will present their case to the regional boards, followed by representatives of the Bi-County Special Education Cooperative. For Sterling to prevail, it will need a two-thirds vote of the boards’ members, said Bob Sondgeroth, Whiteside County’s regional superintendent. STERLING CONTINUED ON A2
To attend The Whiteside and CarrollStephenson-Jo Daviess regional boards of education meet at 6:30 p.m. today in the Sterling High School library, 1608 Fourth Ave. Call the Whiteside County Regional Office of Education at 815-625-1495 for more information.
Today’s weather High 34. Low 11. More on A3.
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COMMUNITY WATCH Were we in
ERROR? Getting it right 7E CARE ABOUT ACCURACY AND WE WANT TO CORRECT ERRORS PROMPTLY 0LEASE CALL MISTAKES TO OUR ATTENTION AT OR EXT OR
PM *AN AT -OLINE AND (ILLSIDE ROADS DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE IMPROPER LANE USAGE FAILURE TO REDUCE SPEED TO AVOID AN ACCIDENT GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT Justin T. VanKampen OF &ULTON PM *AN IN RURAL &ULTON DOMESTIC BATTERY TAKEN TO 7HITESIDE #OUNTY *AIL GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN Dixon Police COURT William L. Hanna OF Carl E. Granskog OF 3AVANNA AM *AN $IXON PM 3UNDAY AT 7ALMART 3 'ALENA !VE ON %MERSON 2OAD WEST OF (AZEL 2OAD DRIVING UNDER RETAIL THEFT POSTED BOND AND GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT THE INFLUENCE IMPROPER LANE USAGE GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT
Kayla Poff OF 2OCK &ALLS AM &RIDAY TWO WARRANTS FOR CONTEMPT OF COURT TAKEN TO 7HITESIDE #OUNTY *AIL Donald Schick OF 2OCK &ALLS PM 3ATURDAY WARRANT FOR OBSTRUCTING A COURT ORDER BONDED OUT
FAILURE TO APPEAR GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT Kayleigh A. Trosper OF #HANA 3UNDAY BATTERY POSTED BOND AND GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT
Gani J. Emini OF $IXON PM 3UNDAY AT STATE 2OUTE AND 3AUK 2OAD IN ,EE #OUNTY ,EE #OUNTY WARRANT FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR Corrections n CONTEMPT OF COURT POSTED CASH BOND AND GIVEN ,OCAL FARMER .ORM NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT +OSTER SAID THE PIGS ON Iris I. Estrada OF HIS FARM GET NO ANTIBIOTICS /REGON PM 3UNDAY BUT HE SAID THAT ISNT WHY Polo Police ON )NTERSTATE IN /GLE THE LIVESTOCK ARE LEANER #OUNTY ,EE #OUNTY WARRANT THAN THOSE IN CONFINEMENT 15-year-old boy FROM 0OLO Lee County Sheriff FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR n RETAIL FACILITIES AS WAS INCORRECTLY PM *AN DELIVERY THEFT HELD AT /GLE #OUNTY REPORTED IN A FRONT PAGE Christopher David BogOF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE *AIL STORY IN THE *AN EDITIONS gess OF 2OCKFORD RELEASED TO HIS PARENTS Tiona L. Harris OF 4HE REASON HE SAID IS THAT PM 3UNDAY WARRANT FOR Ronald E. Smith OF $IXON 2OCKFORD AM 3UNDAY HIS PIGS FEED ON ALFALFA AND CONTEMPT POSTED BOND AND PM 3UNDAY OPERATCLOVER AND GET EXERCISE BY RELEASED WITH NOTICE TO APPEAR ON )NTERSTATE IN /GLE #OUNING A MOTOR VEHICLE WITH AN TY 2OCKFORD 0OLICE $EPARTMOVING ON THE OPEN RANGE IN COURT EXPIRED REGISTRATION STICKER &ORMER $IXON #OMPIris Itzell Estrada OF /RE- MENT WARRANT HELD AT /GLE ISSUED INDIVIDUAL BOND AND #OUNTY *AIL TROLLER 2ITA #RUNDWELL WAS GON PM 3UNDAY WARRELEASED Tanner Lee Behrends ARRESTED !PRIL RANT FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR n RETAIL OF !MBOY PM 3ATNOT ON !PRIL AS THEFT HELD AT ,EE #OUNTY *AIL Whiteside URDAY AT STATE 2OUTE AND REPORTED IN A STORY IN 3ATCory Daniel York OF FRONTAGE ROAD IN ,EE #OUNTY URDAYS EDITION 0ALOS (ILLS PM 3UNDAY County Sheriff 4HE BURIAL FOR .ANCY DOMESTIC BATTERY HELD AT ,EE ZERO TOLERANCE IMPROPER LANE Anthony R. Bushnell USAGE UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF ! 'EBHARDT OF 3TERLING WILL #OUNTY *AIL AND GIVEN NOTICE OF 2OCK &ALLS PM ALCOHOL AS A MINOR UNLAWFUL BE AT AM 7EDNESDAY TO APPEAR IN COURT *AN AT 53 2OUTE AND CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL AS A AT /AK +NOLL -EMORIAL Bryan R. Moore OF 2IVERDALE 2OAD DRIVING UNDER !MBOY PM 3ATURDAY MINOR ISSUED INDIVIDUAL BOND 0ARK IN 3TERLING FOLLOWING A THE INFLUENCE UNLAWFUL USE AND POSTED DRIVERS LICENSE AM PRAYER SERVICE WARRANT FOR CONTEMPT n FAILOF A WEAPON IMPROPER LANE GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN AT 3CHILLING &UNERAL (OME URE TO APPEAR POSTED BOND USAGE GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR AND GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT IN 3TERLING 4HE TIME OF IN COURT Tanner J. Wilhelm OF THE BURIAL WAS MISTAKENLY COURT Kyle R. Sisson OF OMITTED FROM AN OBITUARY Christine C. Kessel OF !MBOY PM 3ATURDAY 0ROPHETSTOWN PM *AN !MBOY PM 3ATURDAY AT STATE 2OUTE AND FRONTAGE ON 0AGE ! OF -ONDAYS AT 53 2OUTE AND 2IVER- CONTEMPT n FAILURE TO APPEAR ROAD IN ,EE #OUNTY UNLAWEDITIONS DALE 2OAD ILLEGAL TRANSPORTA7E REGRET THE ERRORS POSTED BOND AND GIVEN NOTICE FUL CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL TION OF ALCOHOL GIVEN NOTICE TO TO APPEAR IN COURT UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL APPEAR IN COURT David Benard Long OF AS A MINOR ISSUED INDIVIDUAL Malaurie S. Farmer OF $E+ALB AM 3ATURDAY BOND AND GIVEN NOTICE TO 3TERLING PM *AN AT &ULTON #OUNTY 'EORGIA WARAPPEAR IN COURT 53 2OUTE AND 2IVERDALE Spencer J. Johnson OF RANT HELD AT ,EE #OUNTY *AIL Sterling Police 2OAD DRIVING UNDER THE INFLU$IXON PM 3ATURDAY Kyle A. Flynn OF 3TERENCE IMPROPER LANE USAGE AT STATE 2OUTE AND FRONTAGE LING PM 3UNDAY AT DRIVING TOO FAST FOR CONDITIONS Ogle County ROAD IN ,EE #OUNTY UNLAW&IRST !VENUE AND %AST 3EVENTH GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN FUL CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL Sheriff 3TREET NO INSURANCE GIVEN COURT UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT Sherilyn L. Eliason Dustin L. Hay OF 3TERAS A MINOR ISSUED INDIVIDUAL OF $ES -OINES )OWA LING PM *AN AT BOND AND GIVEN NOTICE TO AM 3UNDAY IN THE BLOCK APPEAR IN COURT Rock Falls Police 53 2OUTE AND 2IVERDALE OF 3LIPPERY 2OCK $RIVE IN 2OAD POSSESSION OF DRUG Austin McCoy OF ,OST .ATION UNLAWFUL USE OF PARAPHERNALIA POSSESSION 3TERLING AM 3UNDAY A CREDIT CARD HELD AT /GLE OF CANNABIS LESS THAN UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF CANGRAMS GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR #OUNTY *AIL (APPY BIRTHDAY TO -ILLIE NABIS GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT Williams R. Felse OF 0OTTS $EB 7AGNER AND !LICE IN COURT Dale A. DeVault OF %RIE 2OCHELLE 3UNDAY WARRANT FOR * "USHAW ALL TODAY
FIRE & POLICE
Demmer: State must â€˜remain fair and competitiveâ€™ WAGE
CONTINUED FROM A1
â€œWe have one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation,â€? Demmer said in a text message. â€œThe minimum wage only matters if you can first find a job. We shouldnâ€™t make it harder for businesses to hire.â€? But he said the state should look at the minimum wage periodically and compare it to the level of inflation and other statesâ€™ minimum wages â€œto ensure we remain fair and competitive.â€? State Sen. Tim Bivins, R-Dixon, couldnâ€™t be reached for comment. Both Head, Smiddyâ€™s spokesman, and Jacobs noted that neighboring Iowa has a lower minimum wage â€“ $7.25, the national rate â€“ than does Illinoisâ€™ $8.25. â€œA lot of cities and communities are being aggressive in poaching Illinois business,â€? Jacobs said. â€œIâ€™m cognizant that I live right on the border. There is a perception on the border that Illinois is
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Sondgeroth hopes decision made tonight STERLING
CONTINUED FROM A1
He said he hoped the boards would make their decision tonight. If they donâ€™t, they must vote within 10 days. â€œPeople who will be affected will need to know,â€? Sondgeroth said. â€œTo have them hang for another week or two doesnâ€™t do
anyone any good.â€? Second, itâ€™s hard to get the regional boards together, he said. â€œI donâ€™t know whether we could get the same people together in 10 days, with some from as far away as Galena,â€? Sondgeroth said. If Sterling exits, the cooperative says, its remaining members will likely see their costs rise by 12 percent. Sterling is
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the largest member. In the 1960s and 1970s, Illinois school districts formed cooperatives to provide services for special education students. By pooling their resources, they all saved money. The Sterling district says it can provide such services for itself as effectively as the cooperative, but at less expense. It expects to save $190,000 a
year if it leaves. When districts ask to part ways, regional boards rarely hold public hearings, so itâ€™s not entirely clear what happens next, Sondgeroth said. But he said there is no appeal process with the state school board. In other places, departures from cooperatives have resulted in litigation. FREE KITCHEN DESIGNS BY Jocelyn Lilly, Kitchen Design: 815-266-1354
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going the wrong way and Iowa is going the right way. We have to keep our eyes open State Rep. to our local Tom Demmer competitors.â€? Christopher MarmĂŠ, an economics professor at Augustana College in Rock Island, said simple supply and demand would dictate that employers would go where they can pay a lesser wage â€“ but itâ€™s not that simple. â€œItâ€™s a lot more complicated than that,â€? he said. â€œBusinesses want cheap labor, but they also want customers who have a lot of money in their pockets.â€? Many companies, he said, strive to pay what is known as the â€œefficiency wage.â€? â€œSome businesses pay a premium,â€? MarmĂŠ said, â€œso they can save on costs in the long term by reducing turnover and increasing worker morale.â€? The state Legislature begins its 2014 session later this month.
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014
4ELEGRAPH s !
2014 ELECTION | CAMPAIGN FUNDING
Ups and downs at Civic Plaza II Bustos raises more Once elevator parts arrive, 63 residents could move back in
BY PAM EGGEMEIER email@example.com 800-798-4085, ext. 570
ROCK FALLS â€“ Elevator parts are the next and â€“ with a little luck â€“ last hurdle to be cleared in getting 63 elderly and disabled residents of Civic Plaza II back into their apartments. A frozen sprinkler system pipe burst and flooded the five-story building Jan. 4, forcing the evacuation of the residents. Some are staying with family and friends, while others still are at two Rock Falls hotels. Plans to move the residents back in last Friday were thwarted by a water line break early that morning. The latest water line problem was caused by the thawing of the pipes that came with the higher temperatures, Civic Plaza II Man-
Clean-up continues Monday at Civic Plaza II in Rock Falls, but the only thing that seems to be standing in the way of its 63 residents moving back in is the arrival of parts for the complexâ€™s elevators. ager Tatum Eckstein said If all goes according to Monday. plan, the elevators could â€œThe good news is there be fixed today or Wedneshas been no more water in day. The elevators are the building since Friday older, however, making it morning,â€? Eckstein said. more difficult to find the The bad news is that the needed parts. elevators arenâ€™t working. As soon as the elevators The latest flooding hit the are working, the residents first floor and elevator will be able to return to shaft. their apartments. â€œFridayâ€™s water redamâ€œThere is some restoraaged everything with the tion work that will go on, elevators and flooded the but itâ€™s things like drywall control room,â€? Eckstein repair that can be done said. while the residents are
there,â€? Eckstein said. The evacuation process was a complex emergency situation that went smoothly because of the cooperation of many agencies and individuals in the community. Bringing the residents back to their homes should be much simpler, according to Karen Nelson, disaster action team leader for Lincolnland Red Cross. â€œOnce we know the day, we just have to call Self Help for the wheelchair residents,â€? Nelson said. â€œSome have their own cars, and we might only use one bus.â€? When the residents were evacuated, they brought only a few clothing items and their medications, Nelson said. While the Red Cross contributed mightily to the evacuation efforts, Nelson doesnâ€™t expect to play a big role in the residentsâ€™ return. â€œThey should have all their basics when they get back,â€? Nelson said. â€œI donâ€™t anticipate us having to do much unless itâ€™s on a case-by-case basis.â€?
HITTING THE IRON WHILE ITâ€™S WARM
Linda Schafer of Fulton pedals down Lock Road on Monday afternoon as she enjoys the mild weather near Lock and Dam 13. Schafer tries to ride 20 miles a day, when the weather cooperates.
than $1 million for 17th Dist. rematch Rival Schilling has yet to file fundraising totals BY DAVID GIULIANI firstname.lastname@example.org 800-798-4085, ext. 525
U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos has given few details about how she is raising money for her re-election bid this year. Whatever her method, she says itâ€™s working. On Monday, the East Moline Democrat announced in a news release that she raised $1.1 million last year. â€œOur grassroots campaign is humbled to have the strong support of so many across our region of Illinois,â€? campaign manager Jeremy Jansen said in the release. In 2012, Bustos beat then-Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona, who had served one term representing the 17th Congressional District, which includes Whiteside and Carroll counties. In early July, Schilling announced he would seek to regain his former seat. In response to that news, Bustosâ€™ representatives said they were focused on the issues, â€œnot an election that is over a year away.â€? At that point, Bustos, a former newspaper reporter and East Moline alderman, had pulled in more than $400,000 for her 2014 campaign. Incumbents often call potential donors from lists compiled by party organizations. In an August interview, Bustos said members of Congress get their lists from different sources, but she wouldnâ€™t identify where she receives hers. She also wouldnâ€™t
give information about her fundraising events. â€œMy family has given me money,â€? she said. â€œMy former boss has given me money.â€? Previous reports, though, indicated she received much of her money from other sources. A detailed report for the last quarter of her fundraising wasnâ€™t on the Federal Election Commission website as of Monday afternoon. According to her news release, Bustosâ€™ campaign has about $820,000 cash on hand. It got $327,316 over the last 3 months of the year. The release compared that to Schillingâ€™s fundraising in 2011, the year before his re-election bid. Schilling had $612,000 cash on hand and $219,955 in the last quarter that year. Jon Schweppe, spokesman for Schillingâ€™s campaign, said the campaign would have its report out later this month. The reporting deadline is Jan. 31. â€œCheri Bustos is pretty good at fundraising from Washington lobbyists and special interests,â€? Schweppe said. â€œShe raises money from PACs and gets money from Chicago, San Francisco and Washington. When Bobby Schilling was the incumbent, we generated a lot of money from inside the district.â€? Jansen, Bustosâ€™ campaign manager, couldnâ€™t be reached for comment.
IN BRIEF Sterling High phones fixed
Boil order for two Rock Falls blocks
STERLING â€“ Phones at Sterling High School and in the district office are working again. They were out of order part of the day Friday and were down again Monday, secretary Cindy Brown said.
2/#+ &!,,3 n 4HE CITY on Monday issued a boil order until further notice for the 1200 and 1400 blocks OF &LOCK !VENUE ! BREAK IN A WATER MAIN was the cause for the order. â€“SVM staff reports
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OBITUARIES Nancy A. Gebhardt STERLING â€“ Nancy A. Gebhardt of Sterling died Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, at CGH Medical Center in Sterling. Nancy was born Dec. 30, 1936, in Sterling, the daughter of Ralph and Olive (Wolf) Kosier. She married Ray Gebhardt on Nov. 28, 1954, in Sterling, and they recently celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary. Nancy was a member of Y Wives. She enjoyed sewing and crafts, and was an avid Milledgeville Missiles fan of her four grandsons. Survivors include her husband, Ray; one daughter, Le-Anne (Gary) Nye of Chadwick; one son, Craig (Kim) Gebhardt of Milledgeville; two sisters, Phyllis Alderfer of Sterling and Jeanne Kosier of Morrison; one sisterin-law, Darold Kosier of Niles, Mich.; four
grandchildren, Jarod (Corinne) Nye of Milledgeville, Troy (Diana) Boutin of Clarksville, Tenn., Josh (Carrie Ebens) Nye of Oregon, and Trent (Kate Wiersema) Gebhardt of Milledgeville; and three great-grandchildren, Connor, Spencer, and Bramley Nye. She was preceded in death by her parents; one brother, Gary Kosier; one brother-in-law, Glenn Alderfer; and one granddaughter, Amy Nye in infancy. The funeral was Monday at Schilling Funeral Home in Sterling. Burial will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Oak Knoll Memorial Park in Sterling, following a 10:30 a.m. prayer service at the funeral home. A memorial has been established. Visit www.schillingfuneralhome.com to send condolences.
Mary E. Dempster MENDOTA â€“ Mary Elizabeth Dempster, 96, of Mendota, died Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, at her home. She was born Nov. 15, 1917, in Sterling, to Marie (Seidel) and James Kane. She graduated from Catholic Community High School in Sterling, where she later attended business school. During World War II, Mary worked as a secretary with the Chicago Ordnance District. After the death of her father in 1944, she returned to her hometown of Sterling, where she met Robert W. Dempster after he returned from serving in the war. They were married on Oct. 17, 1946, at St. Mary Church in Sterling. Mary focused on supporting Bob, raising their children, and community involvement, as Bobâ€™s banking career took the family to Dwight and Piper City before they arrived in Mendota in 1965. In the early 1970s, she volunteered with the Mendota Migrant Council, obtaining grants for the first migrant summer school program in Mendota. Later, she worked as office manager for Agricultural Building Co. She was a member of Holy Cross Church, Mendota Community Hospital Auxiliary, and
Mendota Elks Lodge. Mary was an avid Chicago Cubs fan, a bridge enthusiast, and a strong supporter of Catholic education. She will long be remembered as a loving mother and grandmother who enjoyed spending time with friends and family. Survivors include her son, James (Diana) Dempster of Mequon, Wis.; her daughters, Marcia Hogan of Chicago and Jean Dempster of South China, Maine; nine grandchildren; one great-grandchild; her brother, Frank (Ann) Kane; and two sisters, Joan (John) Golick and Sister Rita Kane. She was preceded in death by her husband; her son, Richard Dempster; her son-in-law, Michael Hogan; her sister, Margaret Kane; and three brothers, Joe, John, and Charles Kane. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Merritt Funeral Home in Mendota. A Funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Holy Cross Church in Mendota, with the Rev. Fredi Gomez Torres officiating. Burial will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in Mendota. Memorials may be directed to Holy Cross School in Mendota and Illinois Valley Hospice in Peru.
FUNERAL SERVICES FOR THE WEEK Todayâ€™s visitations: Kathleen A. Wolf OF 2OCK &ALLS AM AT (ARVEST 4IME "IBLE #HURCH IN 2OCK &ALLS Robert C. Anderson OF /HIO AM AT 'ARLAND &UNERAL (OME IN 7ALNUT Florence L. Ayers OF 3UBLETTE AM AT /UR ,ADY OF 0ERPETUAL (ELP #HURCH IN 3UBLETTE Craig A. Watkins OF !MBOY AM AT )MMANUEL ,UTHERAN #HURCH IN !MBOY Jeanette L. Hurley OF 3TERLING AM AT -ESSIAH %VANGELICAL ,UTHERAN #HURCH IN 3TERLING Judith D. Barnes OF 2OCK &ALLS PM AT -C$ONALD &UNERAL (OME IN 2OCK &ALLS Todayâ€™s funerals: Kathleen A. Wolf OF 2OCK &ALLS AM AT (ARVEST 4IME "IBLE #HURCH IN 2OCK &ALLS Florence L. Ayers OF 3UB LETTE AM -ASS AT /UR ,ADY OF 0ERPETUAL (ELP #HURCH IN 3UBLETTE Robert C. Anderson OF /HIO AM AT 'ARLAND &UNERAL (OME IN 7ALNUT Jeanette L. Hurley OF 3TERLING AM AT -ESSIAH %VANGELICAL ,UTHERAN #HURCH IN 3TERLING Craig A. Watkins OF !MBOY AM MEMORIAL SERVICE AT )MMANUEL ,UTHERAN #HURCH IN !MBOY Wednesday visitations: Mary E. Dempster OF -EN DOTA AM AT -ER RITT &UNERAL (OME IN -ENDOTA
Helen M. Dimmick OF 4HOMSON AM AT 4HOMSON 5NITED -ETHODIST #HURCH Ronald W. Edeus OF 2OCK &ALLS PM AT -C$ONALD &UNERAL (OME IN 2OCK &ALLS Wednesday funerals: Judith D. Barnes OF 2OCK &ALLS AM AT -C$ONALD &UNERAL (OME IN 2OCK &ALLS Nancy A. Gebhardt OF 3TER LING AM PRAYER SERVICE AT 3CHILLING &UNERAL (OME IN 3TERLING FOLLOWED BY AM BURIAL AT /AK +NOLL -EMORIAL 0ARK IN 3TERLING Mary E. Dempster OF -EN DOTA AM -ASS AT (OLY #ROSS #HURCH IN -ENDOTA Thursday visitations: Jerrold E. Schroeder OF -ORRISON PM AT "OSMA 2ENKES &UNERAL (OME IN -ORIRSON Thursday funerals: Ronald W. Edeus OF 2OCK &ALLS AM AT -C$ON ALD &UNERAL (OME IN 2OCK &ALLS Helen M. Dimmick OF 4HOMSON AM AT 4HOM SON 5NITED -ETHODIST #HURCH Friday funerals: Jerrold E. Schroeder OF -ORRISON AM AT "OSMA 2ENKES &UNERAL (OME IN -ORRISON Saturday visitations: William S. Giles OF /KLAHO MA AM AT 0OLO #HURCH OF THE "RETHREN Saturday funerals: William S. Giles OF /KLA HOMA AM AT 0OLO #HURCH OF THE "RETHREN
CONTINUED FROM A1
The school is actually two buildings that are connected, which has come in handy, Ramos said. â€œWe still have the gym for PE classes, the cafeteria, and the library is OK,â€? she said. Another big change for students is that they wonâ€™t be able to move around as much as they are used to. â€œWeâ€™re trying to make sure the kids are staying put, so the teachers are floating from classroom to classroom,â€? Ramos said. Ramos said students
seemed glad to be back and had adjusted well to all of the changes. â€œThe kids have been great,â€? she said. â€œThey looked at it as an adventure, and many said they thought it was cool.â€? Not so cool is all the work that still must go into fixing and cleaning everything. Complicating matters is the amount of work the cleaning services are juggling, as the recent weather-related disasters have piled up. â€œWeâ€™re using Supreme [Cleaners Inc.] out of Dixon, and they have been busy at so many other places in the last couple weeks,â€? Ramos said. Bob Mezo has run that Dixon cleaning and res-
OKLAHOMA â€“ William Steven Giles, 76, of Oklahoma, died unexpectedly Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, at his home. Bill was born April 23, 1937, in Dixon, the son of Herman and Ruth (Pope) Giles. He graduated from Polo Community High School. He was a proud veteran of the Air Force. Bill was married to Annette Marie Dunphy on Feb. 17, 1977. Bill had a successful career, including more than 30 years with IBM in Chicago and Poughkeepsie, N.Y., before moving to Oklahoma and working with EMC and Decision One. Bill loved his family, especially his grandchildren, his friends, technology, history, and reading. Bill is survived by his children, Mike Kuhlow, Kathy (Tom) Collier, John (Kristin) Kuhlow, and Colleen (Tony) Wilson; his eight grandchildren, Elisabeth, Ben, Daniel,
Lucas, Jack, Nicholas, Camilla, and Sydney; his sister, Ann Lois (Bruce) James; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; and his sisters, Sandra Hendershot and Betty Herbig. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday and the funeral at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Polo Church of the Brethren, 401 S. Congress Ave. Burial will be at Fairmount Cemetery in Polo. Polo Family Funeral Home is handling arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society would be appreciated. Visit www.polofamilyfuneralhome.com to send condolences. â€œThat we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us.â€? â€“ Helen Keller
Jerrold E. Schroeder Clarice A. Cummins HAYWARD, Wis. â€“ Clarice A. Cummins, 93, of Hayward, Wis., passed away Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, at Golden LivingValley of Hayward Nursing Home. Clarice Adair Stafford was born Dec. 13, 1920, in Eau Claire, Wis., the daughter of Stanford and Lucille Stafford. She moved with her family to Dixon, where she attended high school. Shortly after graduation, she was joined in marriage to Victor Bally. Clarice enjoyed writing poems, and had several of her writings published in magazines. One of her poems also was made into a play. Besides writing, she enjoyed painting, making dolls and studying genealogy. In the early 1950s, Clarice was joined in marriage to Wendell Harris. Clarice and Wendell were married for 24 years before his passing in 1992. On Nov. 6, 1993, Clarice was
married to Harold Cummins in Trego, Wis. Clarice is survived by her three children, Lynne Schriner of Hayward, Wis., Carol Bond of Aurora, and Wendell Harris Jr. of Toluca; one stepson, Donald Cummins of Indiana; six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; her three husbands; two sisters, June Mangan and Juanita Lybarger; one brother, Edward Stafford; and one grandson. The funeral was Jan. 4 at at First Lutheran Church in Hayward, Wis. Interment was at Earl Cemetery in Springbrook, Wis. Casketbearers were Ryan Schriner, Ray Austin, Wendell â€œKipâ€? Harris, Carl Howardson, and Rich Gary. Visit www.andersonnathan.com to send condolences.
Obituary information All obituaries, including death notices, are due by 2 p.m. Sunday through Friday if sent via email, obituaries@saukvalley. com or fax, 815-6259390.
Obituary corrections and clarifications will appear in the Corrections box on Page A2 the next publication day after we are notified of an error.
Weather keeps cleaning crews busy RETURN
William S. Giles
toration business for 30 years. He said this stretch ranks among the busiest he has experienced. Supreme crews have been working 7 days a week, and still have had to turn down jobs, he said. â€œWe have seen lots of frozen water pipes jobs, but I donâ€™t recall it being this cold for this long,â€? Mezo said. â€œIâ€™ve never seen this many frozen pipes at one time.â€? While he said last springâ€™s flooding had his staff of 15 much busier, the winter jobs pose their own unique challenges. â€œWe dried out more than 100 homes from the flooding, so that was much worse,â€? Mezo said.
â€œIn the winter, though, youâ€™re fighting the elements and hauling heavy equipment around on ice.â€? The St. Maryâ€™s job was a tough one that took 12 of his crew and several others from the school, Mezo said. â€œItâ€™s very labor-intensive work,â€? he said. â€œYou usually have to remove ceilings and walls.â€? Principal Rebecca Schmitt said the insurance company was there right away to start assessing the damage, but that will require teachers to get back into their rooms to take inventory. One of the hardest-hit areas was the schoolâ€™s computer lab.
MORRISON â€“ Jerrold E. Schroeder, 63, of Morrison, died Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at his home. He worked at GE in Morrison. Jerrold was born Oct. 1, 1950, in Morrison, the son of Edwin C. and Harriett M. (Bielema) Schroeder. He served in the Army with the 1st Cavalry as a machine gunner during the Vietnam War. Survivors include two sisters, Leah (Gary) Gerhard of Midland, Texas, and Colleen Skarin of Albany; two brothers, Stephan (Nancy) Schroeder of Mandan, N.D., and Harlan (Pam) Schroeder of Morrison; and several nieces and nephews.
Police: Illegal debit-card users IDâ€™d BY CHRISTI WARREN CWARREN SAUKVALLEYCOM EXT
DIXON â€“ Police say they have positively identified the two people accused of illegally using a debit card several times in July. Police say it worked to ask the public for help in identifying the man and woman seen in two blurry securitycamera photographs taken during the summer at an ATM. Police issued a news release last week and posted the photographs to social media, which led to the identification of the suspects. But police said they wouldnâ€™t release the names publicly until they completed their investigation.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one nephew; and one brotherin-law, Aldy Skarin. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Bosma-Renkes Funeral Home in Morrison. The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the funeral home, with Ken Renkes, director of congregational care at Ebenezer Reformed Church in Morrison, officiating. Interment will be at Grove Hill Cemetery in Morrison. Memorials have been established to St. Jude Childrenâ€™s Research Hospital and the Morrison Food Pantry. Visit www.bosmarenkes.com to send condolences.
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On paper, a step closer to prison opening Federal prison facility funding included in appropriations bill STAFF REPORT email@example.com EXT
STERLING â€“ Funding to open a federal prison in Thomson is in writing and on file. Now, all that stands in the way is approval by the House and Senate. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, said in news releases Monday funding to activate the Thomson Correctional Facility is included in the Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2014, which was
filed in the House and Senate earlier in the day. Though the bill does not detail how funding would be spent, Durbin and Bustos expressed confidence that funding for the Thomson facilityâ€™s activation remains a top priority for the Obama administration. As recently as November, Charles Samuels, the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, repeated his intention to make the Thomson facility fully operational. Citing overcrowding at high-security
In this May 21, 2010, file photo, a van drives past the Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson. Funding to activate the Thomson facility is included in an Omnibus Appropriations bill filed Monday. The bill now must be approved by both the U.S. House and Senate and then signed by President Obama. facilities, Samuels said â€œResidents of Northern t h e a g e n c y d e s p e r - Illinois have been waitately needs the beds at ing too long for the job Thomson. creation and economic
activity that was promised when Thomson prison was built over a decade ago,â€? Durbin said in a release. â€œOnce this legislation is passed by Congress and signed into law, Congresswoman Bustos and I will hold the Bureau of Prisons to their commitment to opening Thomson prison as soon as possible.â€? Bustos said the prison opening would be â€œan economic boon for our region of Illinois.â€? â€œIâ€™m encouraged that this bipartisan legislation will help fund the account that could spur the activation of Thomson prison,â€? Bustos said. â€œIâ€™ll continue to work closely with Senator Durbin and the Fed-
eral Bureau of Prisons to ensure this job-creating facility remains on track to open.â€? The full activation of Thomson prison is expected to take 3 years at a cost of $25 million for upgrades and renovations, and approximately $170 million for equipment and staffing. The state built the 1,600-cell, maximumsecurity prison a decade ago, then decided it couldnâ€™t afford to run it. It had been looking for a buyer for years. The federal government bought it last fall. The prison is expected to bring 1,100 jobs and $200 million in annual economic impact to the area.
Wave of applicants Officials unsure how to retain GE plant makes weeding out Facility began operation in 1946; unfit ones difficult 94 jobs at stake ISP: Full state review will keep permits out of wrong hands CHICAGO (AP) â€“ More than 1,000 requests for concealed carry gun permits are pouring in each day in the nationâ€™s last state to allow the practice. The glut of requests is sparking concerns among Illinois law enforcement officials that they might fall behind on weeding out applicants with a history of violence. The Cook County Sheriffâ€™s office says it already has identified about 120 applications it plans to contest since the online application process was opened to most state residents Jan. 5. Chicago Police Department officials, locked in a battle to control highprofile gang violence, say they are worried about keeping up with applications, while downstate sheriffâ€™s departments said they might not have the capacity to meet the new lawâ€™s vetting requirement in the time allowed.
Illinois State Police officials insist a full state review will assure that permits donâ€™t land in the hands of those who shouldnâ€™t have them. And with 90 days to do the job after the 30-day window closes for local law enforcement agencies to make their objections, the agency has far more time than its counterparts in some other states, including Pennsylvania, where law enforcement has 45 days to investigate, and Wisconsin, where the state has 21 days. But local law enforcement officials say they were not given the resources for a task that was supposed to provide an extra safeguard: a 30-day window to ferret out applicants who might meet the state standards but have something in their backgrounds that could render their applications too risky to approve. State Police received millions of dollars to do the background checks. In Wisconsin, the state Justice Department also received additional funding. In Illinois, local agencies were not given any more money.
BY KATIE DAHLSTROM Shaw News Service
DeKALB â€” DeKalb city and county officials are unsure how they could prevent General Electric from closing its DeKalb Motors Plant, but said they are open to options that would retain the manufacturer. GE officials announced last week that they plan to close the DeKalb facil-
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tacted the city, according to Assistant City Manager Rudy Espiritu. If someone does contact the city or the county, itâ€™s unclear what incentives could be offered. Hanson and Espiritu couldnâ€™t remember a time their respective governments have offered perks to prevent a company from closing. Incentives such as tax abatement require input from various taxing bodies and are typically used to bring new companies to the area, they said. Buy one, get 2nd 1/2 OFF
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gain jointly with the company and hoped DeKalb County would offer help to keep the plant from closing. â€œWe havenâ€™t been in talks with them, and thatâ€™s something the city would take the lead on,â€? DeKalb County Administrator Gary Hanson said. â€œWe certainly would be supportive. Theyâ€™re very valuable to us.â€? GE has operated at the facility since 1946. If the plant closes, 94 employees would lose their jobs. By Monday afternoon, no one from GE has con-
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ity in the first quarter of 2015 unless union members can submit a proposal to make the plant cost effective for the company. Union members were given 60 days to submit a proposal to keep the plant at 1900 Pleasant St. open. Workers at the plant are represented by two unions. Most are represented by IUE-CWA Local 1081 and IAM Local 2068 represents the rest. Kathy Brown, IUE-CWA Local 1081 president, said last week the unions would bar-
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Dixon Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry
itizen of the
Official Nomination Form
The Dixon Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Awards are presented to individuals and organizations in the Dixon area who have made an extraordinary contribution to the welfare and progress of the community. s CATEGORIES s
4 Different Awards
Name: __________________________________ Address: ________________________________
SUBMITTED BY: Name: __________________________________ Address: ________________________________ Phone: __________________________________
Red is a two-year-old hound mix. He is great with kids, other dogs, and cats. He is the only dog at the shelter who is compatible with every dog. He is super friendly and wants to please. His Canine-alitiy is Busy Bee: â€œIâ€™m a naturally playful, curious, and trusting canine. Take me for a big walk every day; give me something to do. After my jobâ€™s done, Iâ€™ll curl up in front of the fire with you in the evenings.â€?
Key Criteria: On a separate piece of paper tell us how has this person or organization positively affected our community and made the Dixon area a better place to live and work through their efforts. The more descriptive you can be, the better.
Please check which category you are entering. Nominees can be entered in more than 1 category. Citizen of the Year - This award will go to someone making a powerful difference in the community in ways that inspire others to volunteer. Selection will be based on nomineeâ€™s voluntary local community involvement and service. This can include heroic acts within the past year as well as work for charities, community groups or other organizations providing a valuable community service. Future Leaders Award - Nominees must be 305 years or younger and have demonstrated voluntary local community involvement or service. Submission should list nomineeâ€™s membership and involvement with area organizations or community groups, participation in community activities, and reasons why nominee is an example for other young leaders to follow. Business of the Year - A local company will be recognized for its own community involvement and/or by encouraging employee volunteer efforts in community activities. Selected business must be a Dixon Chamber member in good standing. Service Club/Non-Profit Organization of the Year - Selection will be based on community involvement. Submission should explain how club or organization has helped make Dixon a better place to live and work, with an emphasis on activities within the past year.
Once you have finalized your submission, please return by Monday, January 27, 2014 to:
Citizen of the Year Award
Dixon Area Chamber of Commerce 7 3ECOND 3T 3UITE $IXON ), s OR EMAIL TO VICKICARLSON DIXONCCCOM NO FORM NEEDED
simply include the award category, the personâ€™s name and what theyâ€™ve done. Winner(s) will be announced at the Citizen of the Year Banquet on February 25, 2014.
Opinion ! s 3AUK 6ALLEY -EDIA
THE CARTOONISTâ€™S VOICE
Rauner dances away from wage reduction stance Minimum wage issue resonates with likely voters
Dave Granlund, GateHouse News Service
Leaders know beans about ag F inal 2013 harvest figures are in from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, and Illinoisâ€™ governor was so pleased that he issued a news release Sunday about the results. Gov. Pat Quinn saluted Illinois farmers for leading the nation in soybean production. Illinois is No. 1 by virtue of the 462 million bushels of soybeans that were harvested last fall. Our farmers outdistanced the No. 2 state, Iowa, by 51 million bushels. Quinn also singled out Illinois corn farmers, whose 2.1 billion bushels harvested finished second only to Iowa (2.16 billion bushels) as far as total production is concerned. The crop was the
What we think
Illinois soybean farmers were the most productive in the nation. Gov. Pat Quinn is correct to recognize their achievement.
third largest in Illinois history. The 2013 crop year followed a drought year, with Illinoisâ€™ soybean production up 20 percent and corn production up 63 percent vs. 2012. Quinn pointed to last yearâ€™s rebound as proof that state farmers are resilient. Bob Flider, state ag department director, said that better weather and intelligent management practices aided the rebound. The governor is correct to pay tribute to Illinois farmers. Their efforts to produce corn, soybeans,
sorghum, wheat, oats, hay, potatoes, pumpkins and other crops â€“ not to mention livestock â€“ are crucial to the stateâ€™s economy, if not to the continued evolution of civilization itself. After all, without agriculture, people would have to spend more time finding and producing food themselves. Hunters and gatherers, weâ€™d rather not be. All this talk about agriculture coincides nicely with Sauk Valley Mediaâ€™s first Todayâ€™s Farm issue of 2014. The section includes stories about how one
company, headquartered in Rock Falls, processes corn cobs into useful products; how another company helps farmers adopt technology in haying and conservation; and how a third company sells enzyme products to help farmers boost yields. We encourage you to read it. We also encourage the governor and all state leaders, when considering laws and regulations, to keep the needs of agriculture firmly in mind. Sometimes, it seems as if government bureaucrats donâ€™t know beans about farming. If farmers are to prosper, such attitudes must be countered by informed leaders who set the bureaucrats straight.
THE READERâ€™S VOICE
Forum to host state lawmaker on Thursday FRED TURK Rock Falls
The Rock River Open Forum will host conversation with state Rep. Mike Smiddy of the 71st House District at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Rock Falls Public Library. The public is encouraged to attend, and there is no charge. Mike was elected in 2012 and has served our district for 1 year. He intends to evaluate the important legislation that was passed in 2013. He will also speak about the legislation he wished would have been considered and approved.
What do you think?
their positions, and a lively discussion is probable.
Do you agree with these letters? Do you disagree with these letters? Let us know. Write your own letter to the editor and send it to: letters@saukvalley. com
Those â€˜piecrust promisesâ€™ are easy to break
He will focus on legislation that he sponsored and help us understand the dynamics that take place in Springfield. He wants to mention projects that have been approved and are particularly pertinent to our district. As to the future, it should be of interest to learn about legislation that he will be supporting and sponsoring this year. Participants will be encouraged to express
Members of the governmental employees unions are upset that politicians are not keeping promises. Girls complain that men do not respect them in the morning. Men complain that girls are not interested in â€œnice guys.â€? Nothing changes. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. The politician gets richer, and promises. They are easy the taxpayer gets poorer. to make and easy to Beware of piecrust break.
ROBERT MUSCHAL Morrison
Election letters The maximum length for letters to the editor endorsing candidates or discussing issues regarding the March 18 primary is 200 words. Letter writers may not endorse the same candidate or issue more than once. The submission deadline is noon March 11.
YOUR GOVERNMENT ONLINE Monitor your government at these websites: Gov. Pat Quinn â€“ www. illinois.gov Illinois General Assembly â€“ www.ilga.gov Secretary of State Jesse
White â€“ www.cyberdriveillinois.com Treasurer Dan Rutherford â€“ www.treasurer. il.gov Attorney General Lisa Madigan â€“ www.illinois-
attorneygeneral.gov Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka â€“ www.ioc.state. il.us Auditor General William Holland â€“ www. auditor.illinois.gov
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Jennifer Baratta Jim Dunn Sheryl Gulbranson Larry Lough Trevis Mayfield Jeff Rogers
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Illinois State Board of Elections â€“ www.elections.il.gov Lee County â€“ www. leecountyil.com Whiteside County â€“ www.whiteside.org
If Bruce Rauner manages to successfully back away from his recently unearthed statement from December that he favored reducing the stateâ€™s minimum wage by a dollar an hour, he will have dodged a very serious political bullet. According to a new Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll, the idea is absolutely hated in Illinois. Asked whether they would be â€œmore likely or less likely to vote for a gubernatorial candidate who supports lowering the stateâ€™s minimum wage to the national rate of $7.25 an hour,â€? a whopping 79 percent said theyâ€™d be less likely. Thatâ€™s definitely a result that could move actual votes on Election Day, particularly in the context of the messenger: a hugely wealthy political unknown whose advertising campaign is trying hard to turn him into a â€œregular guy.â€? About 84 percent of women said they were less likely, and men were 73 percent less likely to vote for a candidate who wanted to lower the minimum wage by a buck an hour, according to the poll taken Jan. 8 of 1,135 likely voters, with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.1 percent. Democrats were 90 percent less likely, while independents were 77 percent less likely, and even Republicans were 63 percent less likely to vote for such a candidate. As the controversy was building last week, Rauner told a Carbondale audience that if the minimum wage were increased here, he would support it only if the state also made â€œour labor regulations and our tax burden much more attractive to small business.â€? He added that he could still support lowering the minimum wage â€œin the context of dramatically improving our schools and creating a business environment where everybodyâ€™s got jobs.â€? BUT BY WEDNESDAY, Rauner had completely backed away, claiming he was â€œflippantâ€? when he unequivocally said in a December forum in the Quad Cities that he wanted to roll back the minimum wage to the national level because Illinoisâ€™ dollar-an-hour difference was â€œhurting our economy.â€? After a huge firestorm of controversy erupted, Rauner claimed that he could actually support raising the minimum wage, as long as it was coupled with some key legal changes like unspecified workersâ€™ comp and tort reforms. The Democratic Gover-
â€œFreedom of the press, once proclaimed, admits to no logical limit.â€? Vermont Royster, columnist, 1974
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richMILLER Rich Miller publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter. He may be reached at http://thecapitolfax.blog. com online.
nors Association, which has formed an Illinois political action committee that will likely be used as a conduit to attack Rauner in the GOP primary, attempted to counter Raunerâ€™s spin. â€œThey say a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth,â€? said Danny Kanner, DGA communications director. â€œIn the case of Bruce Rauner, he showed his true colors when he said that Illinoisâ€™ minimum wage needs to be cut, ... and voters wonâ€™t soon forget.â€? If voters do forget, then Raunerâ€™s new position in favor of increasing the minimum wage finds favor with a majorBruce ity of voters Rauner when asked, Wealthy â€œWould you Republican backpedals be more likefrom proposal ly or less liketo decrease ly to vote for minimum a gubernatowage. rial candidate who supports raising the stateâ€™s minimum wage rate to $10 an hour?â€? ACCORDING TO THE poll, 55 percent of likely Illinois voters would be more likely to support such a candidate, while 38 percent would be less likely. Women would be far more supportive (62 percent) than men (46 percent) of such a candidate. And itâ€™s a make-orbreak issue for 81 percent of Democrats. But a strong 65 percent of Republicans would be less likely to support a candidate who backed a hike to $10 an hour, so Rauner may have now created a problem with his GOP primary voter base. Barely mentioned in the mediaâ€™s coverage of the issue last week is that state Sen. Kirk Dillard told the very same audience as Rauner that he favored allowing the â€œmarketplaceâ€? to set the minimum wage and not the government. That position is as unpopular as Raunerâ€™s original push for lowering the wage by a buck. A very high 76 percent said theyâ€™d be less likely to vote for a gubernatorial candidate â€œwho supported having no minimum wage whatsoever.â€? â€œAnyone suggesting eliminating it altogether may end up in the Guinness Book of World Records for the dumbest political idea ever,â€? said pollster Gregg Durham about the issue. Maybe not, but close enough.
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014
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Controversy plagues screenings in schools Review by Associated Press finds no requirements, little consistency MIAMI (AP) â€“ After his father was diagnosed with cancer, a 15-yearold Champaign teen started skipping school, erupting in angry outbursts, yelling at teachers and punching holes in walls or retreating to his room paralyzed by an overwhelming sadness. When the teenâ€™s assistant principal approached him a few months ago about seeking help for mental illness, the student initially declined, saying he didnâ€™t need it. However, eventually he did seek treatment. Diagnosed with major depressive disorder, he joined group therapy sessions at his school.
As stories about increasing school violence dominate headlines, experts say many teens are struggling with untreated mental illness. However, even though federal health officials recommended universal mental health screenings for students nearly a decade ago, they still arenâ€™t required. An Associated Press review of policies around the nation shows screenings vary widely not only from state to state, but within each school district. Thereâ€™s no consistency on whether the schools screen, what age they screen and what they screen for. â€œWe have (schools)
screening for all kinds of rare infectious diseases and then we donâ€™t screen for common behavioral disorders that are costly to the individual, the family and society in terms of health care utilization, crime cost and high risk of death ... it doesnâ€™t make any sense from a public health perspective,â€? said Mike Dennis, of Chestnut Health Systems in Normal, Ill. He teaches clinicians in 49 states how to assess and treat patients with mental illness and substance abuse. Although the 15-yearold Illinois student was not diagnosed through a school program, in his
school-based group therapy heâ€™s learning practical tips to identify his triggers and calm them before emotions spin out of control. â€œI think it is a good idea because a lot of people think they donâ€™t need help but they actually do,â€? said the teen, who is not being identified by The Associated Press because he is a minor. The federal government does not keep track of school mental health screening, so itâ€™s all but impossible to say how many schools do or donâ€™t offer it. The offerings vary from intensive services to virtually none at all.
â€œNo state is providing high-end services in all of their schools,â€? said Sharon Stephan, codirector of the Center for School Mental Health, a national organization based at the University of Maryland that provides training for schools and mental health providers. Baltimore and Chicago have robust screening and treatment programs. Teachers in one South Florida school district screen children as young as kindergarten by filling out a short questionnaire, while students in Minnesota answer anonymous surveys about drug use and depression.
In this hand handout photo, Matthew Palma poses with Stephanie Dana-Schmidt during a play therapy session Nov. 1 at school in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Renewable fuels standard now a hot-button issue FARMERS
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The deal was shaping up nicely before Congress left for the holidays, said Adam Nielsen, Illinois Farm Bureauâ€™s director of national legislation and policy development. â€œCongress left Washington with the framework for a deal,â€? Nielsen said. â€œThey were just very quiet about it.â€? Nielsen said he is optimistic that the committees will have everything hashed out in the next week. Kinzinger also said the farm bill should soon be a done deal. Donna Jeschke, a Grundy County farmer and a past president of the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, was at the first advisory committee in Ottawa. She said there was solid agreement among committee members about the farm bill. As long as the uncertainty is gone, they can work within the rules â€“ whatever they are. â€œWe agree that direct payments can go away,â€? Jeschke said. â€œWe feel that having a strong crop insurance in place is the key to a good risk-management program. Exten-
sion of the current farm bill is not in anyoneâ€™s best interest.â€? Emily Pratt also attended the first advisory committee meeting as Lee Countyâ€™s representative. In addition to being part of a farm family all her life, she is a crop insurance agent for 1st Farm Credit Services. Pratt said Kinzingerâ€™s office reached out to the county farm bureaus for help in finding committee members. She then worked with Lee County Farm Bureau Manager Danelle Burrs and Nielsen to prepare for the meeting. â€œIâ€™ve never served on a committee like this before, so I wasnâ€™t exactly sure what to expect,â€? Pratt said. â€œIt was a very open discussion right away. We were updated on the latest issues in Washington, and then he wanted to know how they were affecting us.â€?
â€˜A critical time for ethanol industryâ€™ Now that the farm bill could soon be in place, renewable fuels standards and the U.S. EPA now seemed to be taking its place as the hotbutton legislative topic
among producers. In November, the EPA proposed to lower the amount of renewable fuels in gasoline. Included would be ethanol, biodiesel, and cellulosic (plant-based) biofuels. The proposed rule has sent fear into grain and energy markets, and threatened the stability of investments with biofuels producers. This is the first time renewable fuel standards have been reduced since Congress first set it at 18.2 billion gallons in 2007. The latest EPA proposal would require that refiners use only 15.2 billion gallons. Of that total, about 13 billion gallons would come from ethanol. EPA says its decision is based on lower American gasoline consumption than what was projected when the standards were set in 2007. That trend is largely attributed to a challenging economy and more fuel-efficient vehicles. EPA is taking public comments on the proposed rule until Jan. 28, looking to finalize it in February. Nielsen said Farm Bureau has been hard at work to get ethanol plants involved in the process. A petition drive
in support of ethanol also is in full swing. â€œThis is a critical time for the ethanol industry,â€? Nielsen said. â€œItâ€™s makeor-break time for the future of renewable fuels. It would be a big setback if EPA follows through on the proposed adjustment in blends. But weâ€™ve learned that the battle is never over on the renewable fuels front.â€? Kinzinger will get a good look at the renewable fuels issue from his seat on the Energy and Commerce committee. â€œEthanol is very important to the family farms in this district,â€? Kinzinger said. â€œAg groups are pushing for E15, but the EPA doesnâ€™t want that yet.â€? Talk about the EPA is nothing new for most farm families, Pratt said. She wasnâ€™t surprised that so much time was devoted to it during the first committee meeting. â€œMy dad is in the beef industry, and I heard a lot about environmental regulations at home,â€? Pratt said. â€œPeople talked about this as being another example of overreach by the EPA. It just seems like they can do things that affect our businesses and livelihood
with no one looking over them.â€?
Another important issue discussed in Ottawa was needed improvements to the locks and dams so vital in shipping commodities. Kinzinger and 17th District Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, have championed efforts to speed up waterway projects. â€œThis is a long time coming,â€? Pratt said. â€œThe Mississippi River is so important to us here in the Midwest.â€? The infrastructure is so bad that barge operators have asked Washington for an increased tax on their diesel fuel. â€œThe barge industry is willing to put in some of their resources as long as the government makes a firm commitment to improve the waterways system,â€? Jestche said. â€œThis becomes even more important with whatâ€™s going on with ethanol. We could be exporting more whole kernels if the fuel standards change.â€?
With the advisory committee in its infancy, Pratt says her goals are likely to change as the groupâ€™s mission evolves. She does have some goals in mind as she works to get input from local farmers to the congressman. â€œI want to get to know the other committee members, because some of them are very experienced in ag policy issues,â€? she said. â€œPersonally, I hope to learn more about how the issues affect all of Illinois, not just those in my backyard.â€? Plans now call for the entire committee to meet face to face once a year, and members will organize local meetings and participate in teleconferences throughout the year. Kinzinger believes the trust that farmers put in the Farm Bureau, agricultureâ€™s largest lobbying group, could be why he doesnâ€™t get more direct input on farm issues. â€œThe Illinois Farm Bureau does such a good job, I think farmers often feel they donâ€™t have to engage in legislative issues,â€? Kinzinger said. â€œI hope this committee will help get more people directly involved.â€?
,EE #OUNTY #OUNCIL ON !GING 100 W. Second St., Dixon, 815288-9236. Sign up by 10 a.m. previous business day. Lunch, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Whiteside County Senior Center, 7 .INTH 3T 3TERLING 622-9230. Organized Wii Bowling games, noon, Lee County CounCIL ON !GING 7 3ECOND 3T Dixon. 500 card game, noon, Polo Senior Center, 101 E. Mason St., 815-946-3818. Pinochle, noon, Hub City 3ENIOR #ENTER #HERRY !VE Rochelle, 815-562-5050. Sewing after lunch, noon, Robert Fulton Community Center and Transit Facility, 912 Fourth St., Fulton, 815-589-3925. Bingo with the Beukemas, 12:15 p.m., Robert Fulton Community Center and Transit Facility, 912 Fourth St., Fulton, 815-5893925. Pinochle, 12:30-3 p.m., Big
Room, Whiteside County Senior #ENTER 7 .INTH 3T 3TERling, 6815-622-9230. Bingo, 12:30 p.m., Whiteside #OUNTY 3ENIOR #ENTER 7 .INTH 3T 3TERLING Bridge, 12:30 p.m., Whiteside #OUNTY 3ENIOR #ENTER 7 .INTH 3T 3TERLING Bingo, PM 2OCK &ALLS !MERICAN ,EGION (ALL &OURTH !VE Woodworkers, 1-3 p.m., Hub City Senior Center, 401 Cherry !VE 2OCHELLE Wii Bowling, 1 p.m., Rock River Center, 810 S. 10th St., Oregon, Community cards, 2 p.m., The Meadows of Franklin Grove, 510 . 3TATE 3T &RANKLIN 'ROVE 456-3000. Kings Kids Club, 6 p.m., LibERTY "APTIST #HURCH .INTH !VE 2OCK &ALLS or 815-625-4101. Sauk Valley Chess Club, PM .ORTHLAND -ALL % ,INcolnway, Sterling, 815-622-8838.
â€˜The Mississippi River is so important ...â€™
COMMUNITY EVENTS Tuesday, Jan. 14 Open pool, open cards, open Wii games, and computer lab, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Whiteside County 3ENIOR #ENTER 7 .INTH 3T Sterling, 815-622-9230. Open pool, open cards, open Wii games, and computer lab, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Lee County Council ON !GING 7 3ECOND 3T Dixon, 815-288-9236. Pool players, 8:30 a.m., Rock River Center, 810 S. 10th St., /REGON Bingo and doughnuts, 9-10 a.m., Hub City Senior Center, 401 #HERRY !VE 2OCHELLE 5050. Morning Whittle, 9 a.m., Rock River Center, 810 S. 10th St., /REGON Line dancing, 9:30 a.m., Rock River Center, 810 S. 10th St., /REGON 313 card game and Wii Bowling, 10 a.m., Hub City 3ENIOR #ENTER #HERRY !VE Rochelle, 815-562-5050.
Community coffee, 10 a.m. Oregon Healthcare Center, 811 S. 10th St. Lifescape lunch, 11:30 a.m., ,EE #OUNTY #OUNCIL ON !GING 100 W. Second St., Dixon, 815288-9236. Sign up by 10 a.m. previous business day. Lunch, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Whiteside County Senior Center, 7 .INTH 3T 3TERLING 622-9230. Birthday potluck lunch, 11:30 a.m., Rock River Center, 810 S. TH 3T /REGON Organized Wii Bowling games, noon, Lee County CounCIL ON !GING 7 3ECOND 3T Dixon. Bingo, 12:30 p.m., Rock River #ENTER 3 TH !VE /REGON Euchre, 12:30 p.m., Whiteside #OUNTY 3ENIOR #ENTER 7 .INTH 3T 3TERLING Pinochle, 1 p.m., Lee County #OUNCIL ON !GING 7 3ECOND St., Dixon.
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Euchre 101, 1 p.m., Robert Fulton Community Center and Transit Facility, 912 Fourth St., Fulton, 815-589-3925. Wii and Yoga class, 1;30 p.m., Whiteside County Senior Center, 7 .INTH 3T 3TERLING 622-9230. Young Adult meeting, â€œFrozen Flavors,â€? 6 p.m., Sterling Public Library, 102 W. Third St., 815 Bingo, PM 3TERLING -OOSE Family Center, 2601 E. Lincolnway, Sterling, 815-625-0354. Wednesday, Jan. 15 Open pool, open cards, open Wii games and computer lab, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Whiteside County 3ENIOR #ENTER 7 .INTH 3T Sterling, 815-622-9230. Open pool, open cards, open Wii games and computer lab, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Lee County Council ON !GING 7 3ECOND 3T Dixon, 815-288-9236. Pool players, 8:30 a.m., Rock
River Center, 810 S. 10th St., /REGON Popcorn and quilting, 8:30 a.m., Polo Senior Center, 101 E. Mason St., 815-946-3818. Crafting, 9 a.m., Rock River Center, 810 S. 10th St., Oregon, Mexican Train Dominoes, 9:30 a.m., Rock River Center, 810 S. TH 3T /REGON Sharing Lifeâ€™s Memories, 10 a.m., Rock River Center, 810 S. TH 3T /REGON Birthday party, 10 a.m., Hub City Senior Center, 401 Cherry !VE 2OCHELLE Farkle, 10 a.m., Whiteside #OUNTY 3ENIOR #ENTER 7 .INTH 3T 3TERLING Wii Bowling, 10 a.m., Hub City 3ENIOR #ENTER #HERRY !VE Rochelle, 815-562-5050. National Hat Day, 11 a.m., Whiteside County Senior Center, 7 .INTH 3T 3TERLING 622-9230. Lifescape lunch, 11:30 a.m.,
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Grandmother deserves to know the truth Dear Abby: My family has been keeping a secret from my grandmother. I have a 17-month-old daughter that she doesnâ€™t know exists. I wanted to tell my grandma from the start about her greatgranddaughter (her first), but I am afraid to. My family thinks that telling her will cause too much stress on her. NO one in the family takes my feelings into consideration. I think my grandmother should know sheâ€™s a great-grandma. The problem is, I donâ€™t know how to tell her. Sheâ€™s 90 years old. Iâ€™m afraid if I say
used to have. I cry every time I talk to her on the phone because I have to lie to her about my dayto-day life and why I canâ€™t come to see her. I am really starting to resent my family. Please help. â€“ Secret Mommy in Nevada
DEARABBY !BIGAIL 6AN "URENS *EANNE 0HILLIPS COLUMN APPEARS DURING THE WEEK THROUGH 5NIVERSAL 0RESS 3YNDICATE
something now, it really MIGHT be too stressful for her. Also, Iâ€™m afraid that if I reveal this secret, it will start a family feud. I want a relationship with my grandma like I
Dear Secret Mommy: Your grandmother wasnâ€™t born yesterday; sheâ€™s 90. Iâ€™m sure that in her decades of living, she has seen plenty of life. While she will probably be shocked that she was kept in the dark this long, I agree she should know
the truth. She should also know that you love her, which is why you are telling her the news. She may or may not want to see her great-grandchild, but the choice should be hers. Dear Abby: Iâ€™m in my 70s, married for 50 years. I worked outside the home for many years and earned retirement benefits. There have been many ups and downs in my life, for me personally as well as for members of my family. Of course, there have been good times, too. I feel blessed. All my life I have been
the â€œgo-to girlâ€? for my family as a daughter, sister, wife, mother and aunt for help or advice. I love them, but Iâ€™m tired. How do I retire my â€œcrownâ€? â€“ which has been overwhelming at times â€“ without hurting or alienating anyone? There seem to be so many problems and only one of me. Many times I have felt stretched too thin, but now my health and energy are no longer what they once were. Iâ€™m reasonably healthy, but Iâ€™m very tired. I value my Judeo/Christian belief of â€œdoing unto
others.â€? Am I being selfish? â€“ Go-To Girl in New Mexico Dear Go-To Girl: Your mind and body are trying to tell you something important. I hope you will pay attention before your health suffers because it could if you donâ€™t start drawing the line. There is nothing selfish or wrong about saying: â€œI love you, but I canâ€™t help you. I canâ€™t because Iâ€™m at a point in my life where I canâ€™t handle stress like I used to.â€? And if the person doesnâ€™t get it, you should repeat it.
SUPPORT GROUPS, CLUBS, AND SERVICES Wednesday, Jan. 15 Women, infants and children clinic, and Family Planning Services, ALL BY APPOINTMENT ONLY 3UITE ,EE #OUNTY (EALTH $EPARTMENT 3 'ALENA !VE $IXON Dixon Kiwanis Club meeting, AM PRIVATE DINING ROOM +3"